Located within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is the Hakone Open-Air Museum. The museum grounds cover over 70,000 square-meters creating a unique mixture of nature and art. The indoor museum features works by Brancusi and Renoir, as well as a permanent 300-piece collection of Picasso. But it is the museum’s outdoor ground that makes the museum truly unique. The outdoor sculpture garden consists of over one hundred modern and contemporary works. Prominently featured are the sculptures of Henry Moore, who famously proclaimed that “sculpture is an art of the open air.”
One of the most impressive works is is “Woods of Net” by Toshiko Horiuchi; a 528 square-meter Lincoln Log-like structure made out of 589 wooden pieces with no metal components. Inside “Woods of Net” is a large multicolored net of jungle gym ropes for kids to play or rest on. Nearly as impressive is “Symphonic Sculpture” by Gabriel Loire, a several story lookout tower of stained glass with a spiral staircase leading visitors to the top. Over one hundred other sculptures of all varieties are scattered around the remaining grounds. Visitors also enjoy a foot bath of hot spring water where you can take a break and dip your feet.
Know Before You Go
By car: Take Odawara Atsugi Road from the Atsugi Interchange on the Tomei Expressway. Then turn left at Miya-no-shita Crossing and take Route 1. Then turn right at Gora Onsen Iriguchi and drive about 500 meters to the museum. Or take Route 138 from the Gotemba Interchange on the Tomei Expressway. Turn right at Miya-no-shita Crossing and take Route 1. Turn right at Gora Onsen Iriguchi and drive about 500 meters to the museum.
- TripAdvisor: Hakone Open-Air Museum: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298171-d320696-Reviews-Hakone_Open_Air_Museum-Hakone_machi_Ashigarashimo_gun_Kanagawa_Prefecture_Kanto.html
- Japan Guide: Hakone Open Air Museum: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5208.html
- Kuriositas: Hakone - Japan's Amazing Open Air Museum: http://www.kuriositas.com/2010/07/hakone-japans-amazing-open-air-museum.html